season 1, 2160p film clips

Deborah Kaufmann and Gina Alice Stiebitz in episode 3



Maja Schoene in episode 1

The Long Road Home
s1e5, 1080hd

Enhanced version: brightened and color-corrected

Sarah Ramos

e1, 720p

Jeanette Hain (and others)


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"Survivor's  Remorse"

s1e1, 1920x1080

Brittany S Hall

This week, movies from 2012 and 2013:

12 Rounds 2 - Reloaded

Chelsey Reist is topless in 12 Rounds 2 - Reloaded (2013)

and there are some nice images of an unidentified woman.

First Night

2010, 1080hd

Emma Williams film clip (collages below)


Jessica Kaye in Inheritance (2017) in 720p

Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton in A Bigger Splash (2015) in 1080hd



Catherine McCormack in Shadow of the Vampire (2000) in 1080hd

I love a strange-off. Remember in "Illuminata", when Ben Gazzara turned in such a profoundly deranged performance that Christopher Walken wasn't the strangest guy in the movie? Walken lost the only strange-off of his career. Kind of like a watershed in film history.

Well John Malkovich met his own Waterloo in this movie!  Malkovich, another of the masters of strangeness, was weird, but he wasn't even close to Willem Dafoe. Dafoe was so strange that he may now be the reigning king.

The premise is fascinating. Can you remember if you have ever seen any scenes from the 1922 German expressionist masterpiece Nosferatu? You probably have. It was a rip-off of Stoker's Dracula, because Stoker's estate wouldn't sell the rights to his story, and it was one of the first vampire flicks ever made. They always show clips from it in film history documentaries. I've never seen the movie, but I've seen the clips several dozen times.   

For nearly a century, people have wondered how in the world the lead actor, Max Schreck, managed to look so creepy in the role. It is positively brilliant how they created the impression of Nosferatu so long ago, with the narrow mouth and the rat teeth, and the pointed ears, and long fingernails, and so forth. This guy looked really creepy. Well, this movie posits the hypothetical answer. There was no Max Schreck. The director (F.W. Murnau, played by Malkovich) was so in love with his movie realism that he hired a real vampire to play the part of an actor playing a vampire.

So how do you pay a real vampire? You let him devour the beautiful leading lady after the filming is over!

Talk about an over-the-top premise.

It's total nonsense, of course, there was a real Max Shreck, and he acted for another decade or more in non-vampire films, while the real Greta Schroder worked in one more picture, noticeably still alive. But ignore all that. This movie gives you a much more interesting explanation. The concept is basically played for very dark humor, not serious drama.

The director gets upset when the vampire devours his photographer, so he confronts him and asks him, "If you just have to feed, why eat somebody essential like the photographer? Why not just devour the script girl?" The vampire's answer? "I'll eat her later."  When the non-plussed director has to fly to Berlin to get a new photographer, he tells the vampire not to eat any more crew members, and Nosferatu replies, "I've come to the conclusion that once the filming is started, we really don't need a writer any more, forcing the director to admit, albeit reluctantly and regretfully, that writers are actually necessary.

You get the idea.

I know it sounds kinda dumb, but they manage to pull this off simply because everybody really gets into the creative and loony premise, and the film is only 90 minutes long, so it never  overstays its welcome. The whole production is an actor's dream filled with drug frenzies, flesh-eating, larger-than-life leading ladies, and temperamental artists. Willem Dafoe must have practiced for months in front of a mirror to get his role down, because he absolutely nailed Max Schreck. They cut in some real footage from the original Nosferatu, and they also created new black-and-white footage with Dafoe, and you simply can't tell when Dafoe ends and Shreck begins. But Dafoe is not the only one with a chance to go over the top. Virtually every role allows the actor his or her moment in the sun - er, darkness - and every one of them chews the scenery. It's a group of actors just having fun, while we get to watch with quizzical looks on our faces, intermingled with an occasional scare and an occasional belly laugh.

Catherine McCormack in Dangerous Beauty (1998) in 1080hd

Dangerous Beauty is based on the actual diaries of a 16th century Venetian woman (named Veronica Franco) who become a courtesan when unable to make a successful marriage in Renaissance Venice. Much of the dialogue is based on the actual diaries and other contemporaneous documents.

It's an excellent film, a sweeping historical adventure faithful to the dress, manners, and social interaction of the time. The storyline includes several satisfying twists, and some of the most unlikely ones, like a single courtesan's bedroom diplomacy being able to alter the fate of Europe, or her subsequent rescue from the Inquisition, all really happened.

The film visual appeal is as strong as the script. The cinematography is a visual treasure in greens and golds, and Catherine McCormack is radiant and charismatic in the lead. McCormack seems to think of herself as a character actress, and often hides her looks underneath wigs and layers of make-up, but she pulled off the leading role in this film with lustrous beauty and plenty of swagger, so much so that her performance here made me wonder why she never became a bigger star.

It's kind of a chick-flick, written by a woman based on the diaries of another woman, but the fact that it exposes the restricted opportunities for women of that time period doesn't mean that men can't enjoy it. I love it because it's a great yarn, told with real style.

Madeleine Stowe and Patricia Healy in China Moon (1994) in 1080hd



This flick is basically the low-rent Body Heat, a noir with multiple twists and double-crosses, sex, sultry Florida nights and a wife (Madeleine Stowe) who figures out a way to free herself of her rich asshole husband by seducing a lovesick maroon (Ed Harris) and persuading him to get rid of the husband's body for her. This time the patsy is not a dumb horny lawyer, but rather a smart horny cop who gets blindsided by people he trusts.

Unfortunately, China Moon is not in the same league as Body Heat, but merely in the same genre. It's nothing more than a workmanlike, serviceable noir for genre addicts. The only really interesting mystery involves wondering to what degree Madeleine Stowe is a victim and to what degree she is the manipulator. Frankly, you won't really care that much because China Moon lacks the great strengths that make Body Heat an excellent movie. There is no clever dialogue, the characters aren't very well-rounded, and the acting skills are restricted solely to the two leads. Stowe is sexy enough in the lead role, and Ed Harris is good, as always, but the murdered husband has a sillier southern accent than Foghorn Leghorn, and a young Benicio del Toro is particularly embarrassing in a stilted and painfully clumsy performance as Harris' rookie partner.

The film was originally shot in 1991 and shelved for three years before it was released. That will tell you that the studio wasn't high on its prospects. They were right to be worried.  It did virtually nothing at the box and disappeared into pay cable hell, where it pops up occasionally to this day.

Melanie Griffith and Shannah Laumeister in Nobody's Fool (1994) in 720p



Nobody's Fool (1994) stars Paul Newman as a man approaching retirement age in a small town in upstate New York. It's a vintage "old Newman" performance, from the era when he was actually using his acting talent to create normal, relatable characters, as opposed to his earlier period of larger-than-life movie star turns. 

He is pressing a Workman's comp case against the only construction company in town while living in a bedroom belonging to his grade school schoolteacher (Jessica Tandy). He flirts outrageously with Melanie Griffith, the wife of the construction company owner (Bruce Willis), who cheats on Melanie constantly. Newman and all his friends play poker together in the local tavern, no matter what conflict they were having during the day.

Newman is reunited with the son he left years before when he split from his ex-wife. Over the course of the film, Newman has to begin to deal with the son, a grandson and his hatred for his own abusive alcoholic father.

Dana Delany in Light Sleeper (1992) in 1080hd

It's Willem Dafoe again. This time he plays a drug dealer with style and panache, and no habit. He only provides home delivery services to the very rich. (He's just the delivery boy for the upscale drug kingpin, or rather queenpin, played by Susan Sarandon.)

Dana Delany plays his former lover who wants him to stay away from her at all costs. We are led to think it is because she has moved on to a good new life away from dope dealers, but it turns out she has a dark secret to keep from him. There's also a murder mystery in there somewhere, and a psychic, and ... and it's a disappointingly draggy movie, with very little edge or suspense, considering the talent involved (Susan Sarandon, Dafoe, Delany, and director Paul Schrader).

It's not a bad movie, really, and it's performed well, but it's mostly about Dafoe and Sarandon planning a life after drug dealing. Sarandon wants to start a line of natural cosmetics. Tedious, eh? You'd expect more from Shrader, the author of such cinema classics as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and the Last Temptation of Christ. Of course, in all three of those cases, Schrader's script was brought to life by a certain diminutive genius named Scorsese.

Schrader's best films as a director are probably this film, Blue Collar, Hardcore and The Comfort of Strangers, all of which are far below the quality of the Scorsese collaborations.